Obstacles

 

Yes even Satan is on God’s leash as God’s lapdog and to know my almighty Savior controls even my temptations is a great comfort.

Young Calvinists

A month ago we had a significant windstorm in the Grand Rapids area. Lightning, thunder, heavy rains and an isolated tornado were accompanied by high winds that leveled trees and knocked out power for two days or so.  I commuted to work that Friday morning alright, but when I went use the trails they were blocked with large trees that had fallen during the storm. I was unable to maneuver my bike around them. I tried one direction and couldn’t get through. I went the opposite way and faced the same problem. Finally I biked through Grandville and it ended up taking me longer to get home than I had anticipated.

This little experience is not that much different from our everyday lives. Sometimes God sends us trials and temptations that we find difficult to see our way through and get around. We often wonder why He sends us these…

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God rules

“It should fill us with joy, that infinite wisdom guides the affairs of this world. Many of its events are shrouded in darkness and mystery, and inextricable confusion sometimes seems to reign. Often wickedness prevails, and God seems to have forgotten the creatures that He has made. Our own path through life is dark and devious, beset with difficulties and dangers. How full of consolation is the doctrine that infinite wisdom directs every event, brings order out of confusion, and light out darkness, and, to those who love God, causes all things, whatever be their present aspect and apparent tendency, to work together for good.”

by: J.L. Dagg

Thanks Nil Bansale

The Wisdom of Solomon

I Kings 3 tells us the source of King Solomon’s wisdom. It was given him by God in answer to prayer, prayed mind you, in his sleep in a dream! It was wisdom to govern and judge but he was also given great learning and insight presumably by reading and observing the natural world. Sadly, in his life he was unwise in his polygamy, something many believe he renounced towards the end of his life.

His reign of peace and wisdom prefigure Christ who was wisdom personified, as he penned by inspiration in Proverbs 8. Wisdom was eternally begotten, delighted in creation, was himself the delight of his Father and having done all his redeeming work,  installed in the position of all power (Matthew 28:18), to be confirmed publicly when he appears.

Solomon built a beautiful earthly temple, Christ builds the temple of his church throughout history, the place where he dwells forever.

Who I Am and Who I Am Not

My comment: You bring out important points from what many would describe as an awful upbringing and sad set of life experiences. So PTL. In a similar vein the successful Christian businessman or sportsman is also not defined by his success but by his status as God’s covenant child.(Jer. 9:23-24)

Young Calvinists

A lot of us have sad and tragic, yet honest stories about our childhoods or lives in general. Some of us have been through a lot more than others. I decided to use a presentation I gave in a college class as an opportunity to witness to you all, by showing you who I really am, who I’m not, and maybe along the way, helping you find out who you are, too. I’d like to start with a quote from Pastor John Piper. He says, “Not only is all your affliction momentary. Not only is all your affliction light in comparison to eternity and the glory there. All of it is TOTALLY meaningful. Every millisecond of your pain from the fallen nature or fallen man; every millisecond of your misery in the path of obedience is working for you a peculiar glory you will get because of that. I don’t…

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Wisdom

Christ alone reveals the wisdom of God.

The sum of all true wisdom and knowledge may be reduced to these three heads:—

1. The knowledge of God, his nature and his properties.

2. The knowledge of ourselves in reference to the will of God concerning us.

3. Skill to walk in communion with God:—

  1. Knowledge of God. “He that hath seen me hath seen the father.”How else to know his love apart from Christ? (I John 4:9). Pardoning mercy and grace? (Rom.3:25, John 1:14). Vindictive justice (Making Christ to be sin and suffer God’s wrath). Patience, forbearance and long-suffering (II Peter 3:9). When Moses asked God to show him his glory he hid him in a rock, that rock was Christ.
  2. Ourselves. Our sin is manifest by our consciences and the righteous law and just judgment is coming. We know these things by his death. God, in the death of Christ, punishes and condemns sin in the flesh of his own Son, in the sight of men, angels, and devils, and he has given an abundant assurance of a righteous and universal judgement to come; (how could his cruel killers get away with it?)  By his resurrection he has given assurance that Christ risen from the dead, is appointed by him to be the judge of all; in whom and by whom he will judge the world in righteousness granting unspeakable consolation on the one hand to those who believe in him, and terror on the other to those who despise him: so that the wisdom of this also is hid in Christ.
  3. To follow (In Christ is the wisdom to walk with God).

From John Owen’s work Communion with God.

Witnessing

 

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Christ with the woman at the well (John 4:1-45) exemplifies wisdom in witness. Divine providence led Christ to her (v4), his route, his thirst…..

  • he excited her interest (v14)
  • she desired the living water (v15)
  • sin had to be dealt with (v16ff)
  • she is instructed in true worship (v24)
  • Christ reveals himself to her (v26)
  • she believes (v29)
  • she wins many others (v39)

Lord help us do likewise. Lead us to prepared hearts.

Get wisdom!

Notes from recent speech by Rev. Martyn McGeown in South Wales.

Reading  Proverbs 4:1-13

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Why is wisdom crucial in life? Because God is wise and Christ is the wisdom of God.

Wisdom is not the same as knowledge. God is omniscient and wise.

Wisdom is the use, adaptation and application of knowledge to it’s highest end which is the glory of God.
Five words for fools in O.T. each progressively worse: simple/gullible, arrogant, sensual, scorner, stubborn.

They all have this in common, they don’t listen to advice or godly wisdom.

Wisdom and folly are ethical rather than intellectual properties.

A wise person pays attention to reality, circumstances and facts.

Means of obtaining wisdom: listening to and applying good Biblical preaching, prayer and godly counsel.

Listen to message here.

 

Six days shalt thou labour!

 

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Theologian and church planter, tour guide, professional athlete, politician, professor of theology, soldier..

Thomas Watson: “God would not have any live out of a calling: religion gives no warrant for idleness. It is a duty to labour six days, as well as keep holy rest on the seventh day. ‘We hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all. Now, them that are such, we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread’ (II Thess 3: 11). A Christian must not only mind heaven, but his calling. While the pilot has his eye to the star, he has his hand to the helm. Without labour the pillars of a commonwealth will dissolve, and the earth, like the sluggard’s field, will be overrun with briers (Prov 24: 31). Adam in innocence, though monarch of the world, must not be idle, but must dress and till the ground (Gen 2: 15). Piety does not exclude industry. Standing water putrifies. Inanimate creatures are in motion. The sun goes its circuit, the fountain runs, and the fire sparkles. Animate creatures work. Solomon sends us to the ant and pismire to learn labour (Prov 6: 6; 30: 25). The bee is the emblem of industry; some of the bees trim the honey, others work the wax, others frame the comb, others lie sentinel at the door of the hive to keep out the drone. And shall not man much more innate himself to labour? That law in paradise was never repeated. ‘In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread’ (Gen 3: 19). Such professors are to be disliked who talk of living by faith, but live out of a calling; they are like the lilies which ‘toil not, neither do they spin’ (Matt 6: 28). It is a speech of holy and learned Mr Perkins, ‘Let a man be endowed with excellent gifts, and hear the word with reverence, and receive the sacrament, yet if he practice not the duties of his calling, all is but hypocrisy.’ What is an idle person good for? What benefit is a ship that lies always on the shore? or armour that hangs up and rusts? To live out of a calling exposes a person to temptation. Melanchthon calls idleness the Devil’s bath, because he bathes himself with delight in an idle soul. We do not sow seed in ground when it lies fallow; but Satan sows most of his seed of temptation in such persons as lie fallow, and are out of a calling. Idleness is the nurse of vice. Seneca, an old heathen, could say, Nullus mihi per otium dies exit; ‘No day passes me without some labour.’ An idle person stands for a cipher in the world, and God writes down no ciphers in the book of life. We read in Scripture of eating the ‘bread of idleness,’ and drinking the ‘wine of violence’ (Prov 31: 27; 4: 17). It is as much a sin to eat ‘the bread of idleness,’ as to ‘drink the wine of violence.’ An idle person can give no account of his time. Time is a talent to trade with, both in our particular and general callings. The slothful person ‘hides his talent in the earth;’ he does no good; his time is not lived, but lost. An idle person lives unprofitably, he cumbers the ground. God calls the slothful servant ‘wicked.’ ‘Thou wicked and slothful servant.’ Matt 25: 26. Draco, whose laws were written in blood, deprived those of their life who would not work for their living. In Hetruria they caused such persons to be banished. Idle persons live in the breach of the commandment, ‘Six days shalt thou labour.’ Let them take heed they be not banished from heaven. A man may as well go to hell for not working in his calling, as for not believing” (The Ten Commandments, the Fourth Commandment).

Drugs

 

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All drugs affect our perception of reality and that’s why people take them because they prefer the “high” to reality—they cannot face reality. Being a Christian believer not only teaches what reality is in truth, but enables him or her to face it with confidence in their almighty Saviour. We are the only people who “get real!” We know reality, why the world is the way it is, why people do what they do and what happens after death and we are eternally grateful Jesus Christ is Lord of the world and is the ultimate reality with whom everyone who has ever lived will one day come face to face. The greatest human privilege is to be in covenant friendship with him.

Your legacy? Your inheritance!

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What will you be remembered for? Will anyone remember you in 100 years? Unlikely. Our lives are vapours that vanish away leaving no trace. Perhaps we will leave children and grandchildren but who knows anything about their great grandparents?

But we as God’s people don’t lay up treasure here, though we might for our children. If our remembrance is for achievements on earth, it will soon be forgotten and even the feats of the great and mighty are known to only a few who read history.

 Though earth holds no remembrance heaven does! Our good works follow us (Rev.14:13), we have eternal reward (I Cor.3:8). Christ gave himself for us and to us, bequeathing all his salvation and graces.

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Even though there will be countless millions in glory there is plenty of Christ to go round──he is infinite! All he has and is belongs to us—we inherit him (Gen.15:1) and all his kingdom (Matt.5:5) and we will have responsibilities in glory commensurate with our stewardship on earth. Eye has not seen! Live for that “well done!”